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Thailand ex-PM refuses to appear before tax investigators

[JURIST] Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] failed to attend a meeting Thursday with the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) [official website] which is probing possible tax evasion allegedly committed by Thaksin during his tenure in office. According to the DSI, Thaksin, who now resides in London, may have hid assets owned by his family in order to avoid paying taxes on them. A spokesperson for Thaksin said that he will not appear before the DSI, but will send legal representation in his place.

Thaksin, who has been living in exile since his ouster in a September 2006 military coup [JURIST report], is currently also facing corruption charges [JURIST report], which are scheduled to be heard [JURIST report] by the Thai Supreme Court on August 14. Earlier this month, Thaksin filed a lawsuit against the Thai Assets Examination Committee (AEC) for its seizure of Thaksin family assets [JURIST report], demanding that the AEC terminate its freeze of approximately $2.1 billion in assets and seeking an additional $1.7 billion in compensation. Australia's ABC News has more.

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